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7 Tips to Reduce Speech Anxiety and Nervousness

It's-Good-to-Be-Nervous

Seven proven tips to help you overcome nervousness and become a better speaker.

Being a powerful communicator has a tremendous transfer value to everything we do. As a presentation coach for 20 years, I have witnessed transformations going far beyond improved presentation skills, including increased self-esteem, greater self-confidence and an increased desire to tackle other challenges. I have felt the debilitating fear of public speaking, and I also know what it is like to bask in the applause. Here are seven proven tips to help you control your presentation jitters and make those annoying butterflies fly in formation…

Before and even during your presentation, take a few deep breaths. As you inhale, say to yourself, “I am” and as you exhale, “relaxed.” Just before your presentation, leave the meeting room and go for a walk. Take some deep breaths and give yourself a pep talk.

It’s Good to be Nervous

It's-Good-to-Be-Nervous

Every speaker I know gets nervous before speaking. Being nervous means you care about giving a good presentation. Your nervousness produces adrenaline which helps you think faster, speak more fluently, and add the needed enthusiasm to convey your message.

Breathe!

BreatheBefore and even during your presentation, take a few deep breaths. As you inhale, say to yourself, “I am” and as you exhale, “relaxed.” Just before your presentation, leave the meeting room and go for a walk. Take some deep breaths and give yourself a pep talk.

Involve Your Audience

Involve-your-audienceAsk listeners questions or have them participate in an activity. Keeping your audience actively involved will hold their attention, increase their retention, and reduce your nervousness as your presentation becomes more of a dialogue than a monologue.

Know your Subject

Know-your-subjectYou must “earn the right” to talk about your subject. Become an authority on your topic and know more than most or all of the people in your audience. The more you know, the more confident you will be.

Don’t Try to Be Perfect

Don't-try-to-be-perfectThe fear of public speaking often stems from a fear of imperfection. Accept the fact that no one ever gets it perfect and neither will you. You do not have to become Super Speaker, never saying “er” or “uh,” and never losing your train of thought. Be yourself—your audience will appreciate it.

Focus on your Audience and your Message

Focus-on-your-audience-on-your-messageWhat you have to say is important! Your audience needs to hear your message. Focus on that, rather than on your nervousness. You can do this!

Practice Out Loud

Practice-out-loudQuestion: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Answer: Practice! The best way to reduce your anxiety is to rehearse until you feel comfortable. Practicing by yourself is important, but I urge you to also practice in front of a friend, colleague or coach who will give you honest and constructive feedback.

Reprinted with permission from Simply Speaking, Inc.®

1-888-773-2512 or 404-518-7777 David Greenberg’s Simply Speaking, Inc.® All rights reserved

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